SCEDC introduces new EDC director
By Mike Marturello | KPC Media - Herald Republican
The Steuben County Economic Development Corp. has selected a man with nine years of chamber of commerce and economic development experience in Ohio as its new executive director.
Isaac R. Lee, Defiance, Ohio, was introduced as the SCEDC’s new director Tuesday. He started on Monday.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Isaac said. “I’m wanting to emulate the excitement and passion that the board of directors of the Steuben County Economic Development Corporation has in my efforts and commitments to the success of Steuben County.”
Lee comes to Steuben County with experience in the economic development field in Ohio, where such efforts are typically under the purview of chambers of commerce.
Most recently, he was CEO of The Chamber Partnership, from November 2015 to October, which is an alliance of northwest Ohio chambers of commerce.
From March-November 2015, he was the vice president of membership for the Toledo (Ohio) Regional Chamber of Commerce.
From January 2010 to March 2015 he was president and CEO of the Defiance Area Chamber of Commerce. And prior to that he served as assistant director of Defiance County’s economic development agency. He also operates a consulting firm.
He also has served as chief operating officer of a statewide association of Ohio chambers, the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio, a post he has held since March 2015.
In Steuben County, Lee said he plans to concentrate his efforts on business retention and expansion as well as trying to land new industry to the area.
“My emphasis will be on BR and E (business retention and expansion),” he said.
Craig Ralston, president of the SCEDC board, said Lee will be tasked with getting out and working to learn the community and determine its needs and how they may be best achieved.
“We’ve got some positive things happening here, the biggest thing (today being) the introduction of Isaac,” Ralston said.
Lee agreed with Ralston’s assessment of his work and said he wants to meet business leaders to get an idea of what’s here and what would be a good fit in terms of new industry.
Lee follows Dave Koenig, who resigned the SCEDC after having served some five years in the position.
Lee has been married to his wife, Kristen, for 13 years. They have three children, Addison, 10, Madelyn, 8, and Jackson, 7, with another due in a week.
“I have lived in Defiance, Ohio, most of my life but that could change in the future,” Lee said. With the new baby on the way, he said it would take some time before moving to Steuben County.